The Boston Bruins have officially broken up for the Christmas holiday and will reconvene after they open presents under the Christmas tree on Saturday morning.
For players like David Pastrnak that haven’t had their family in Boston due to COVID challenges over the last few years, this year feels a lot more like a regular Christmas holiday.
“All we’ve been doing is cooking food and play some family games,” said Pastrnak, during a Thursday zoom with reporters. “They haven’t been here for two and a half years. I’m really happy they’re here.”
🎥 David Pastrnak on spending the Christmas break with his family: “All we’ve been doing is cooking food and play some family games…they haven’t been here for two and a half years…I’m really happy they’re here.” pic.twitter.com/7A7mYiN89j
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 23, 2021
It’s undoubtedly been a tough haul over the last few years for players across the NHL with difficulties on and off the ice turning into a much tougher mental grind than ever before on professional athletes, just as it’s the same for everybody else across the world during a global pandemic. That’s probably translated into some of the trade requests we’ve seen from Boston Bruins players, along with other players around the league.
So here’s hoping everybody involved with the NHL gets a few enjoyable days to rest, relax and recharge with family and friends around the Christmas holiday before returning to work on Dec. 26 to resume activity amidst COVID breakouts all across the league. Nobody said it was going to be easy and they were right, but these next few days should also be a reminder that every day is a gift no matter how challenging it feels like it is.
Merry Christmas to all and we at BHN hope you get everything you wished for in this holiday season. Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*The Boston Bruins used words like “sad” and “frustrated” to describe their feelings about having to skip the Olympics this season due to COVID complications. (Boston Hockey Now)
*With the bummer of an Olympic story in mind, here’s a feel-good story about former Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross right before the holidays. (Calgary Hockey Now)
*Should San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner be on the hot seat this season? Shen Peng discusses over at our San Jose branch. (San Jose Hockey Now)
*We’ve heard this before, but FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Kingerski says this looks like the last hurrah for the core group with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Certainly, it could be with new ownership coming in that’s undoubtedly going to cut costs. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*Could Mat Barzal be the future captain of the New York Islanders? Stranger things have happened. (NYI Hockey Now)
*Great piece from former Boston Bruins forward and TSN hockey analyst Dave Poulin about a vivid Christmas Eve practice experience with Mike Keenan in the days when the NHL still held practices the day before the Christmas holiday. Nowadays, NHL players get Dec. 24-26 off as agreed upon in the CBA, though they will practice the day after Christmas this season due to the COVID challenges within the schedule. (Toronto Star)
*Zach Senyshyn has asked for a trade. He does know that all 31 other teams passed on him for nothing when he was on waivers earlier this season, right? This feels like a generational thing, quite honestly, where players like Senyshyn and Jake DeBrusk believe the fault with any hockey career shortcomings lies with their team rather than looking a little closer to home. (Rink Insider Rhode Island)
*Is this guy serious with this?
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 23, 2021
*What should the Buffalo Sabres expect with Alex Tuch? There are answers within this mailbag. (Buffalo News)
*The biggest thing on the Santa list for the Arizona Coyotes is wishing that better days are ahead. (gophnx.com)
*It looks like there will be plenty of NHL teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, that won’t be at full strength when the Christmas break is over due to ongoing positive COVID tests. (Toronto Sun)
*For something completely different: The Hawkeye final episode? I thought it was great even if the Kingpin wasn’t used to the extent, I would have liked him to be. The chemistry between old Hawkeye and new Hawkeye was outstanding. (Rolling Stone)